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DD Book Club: Daredevil/Spider-Man
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Darkdevil
Humanity's Fathom


Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 331
Location: The Bright, Sunny South

PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While more set-up, the highlight was definitely the scenes with Fisk and Matt. Though blinded and hospitalized, Fisk is still the dominating force, bending Matt to achieve their desired goals for obviously wildly different reasons.

Seeing Kingpin, in a hospital bed, with IV tubes and such stuck in him yet wearing what looks like a smoking jacket? Priceless. And did he have that reporter from that newspaper he owns that asked him about possible criminal corruption killed? There was that one line of dialogue about informing the reporter's wife about something. Wow, that's cold.

The swinging scenes of DD and Spidey were good, the poses and coloring were great. Spidey's 'gob' comment has me wondering though, what is the apparent age difference between Peter and Matt?

I like the visual upgrades of the villains here, particularly Owl and Stilt-Man. I sure wouldn't want to run into them in a sewer. Owl's mental unbalance does make him a more volatile and unpredictable opponent for Fisk which makes Fisk's manipulation of Matt into hunting him down all the more impressive. And the clue about Owl's identity was cute.

But I do have a few more quibbles with this issue than the last.

The scenes with Foggy and Natasha were odd. For one thing, when did Matt contact either one of them? I would agree with Dimetre's comments over the heightened sexuality here of Natasha. Seeing Foggy flustered was cute but really, was it necessary? And you're sending the pair of them off together to Wisconsin? O-kay.

I realize there is a DD-centric focus in this mini but I think Spidey is getting short-changed here in the sewer trap. While again, I love Jenkins' descriptions of Matt's senses here, where was Peter's spider-sense when the trap was sprung? It would have been cool to see the pair of them warn each other at exactly the same moment when the trap was sprung.

As Matt details how Fisk survived the missile attack, it's interesting to hear him describe Fisk's measures for such an occurrence as 'forethought'. Yeah, it's called forethought after you have a Hydra gunship shred your upper office floor earlier. Wink

Overall, I would give this issue 3-and-a-half stars, mainly for the Fisk/Matt scenes and Matt and Peter's adventures underground.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil/Spider-Man #3 - Bad Boys Don't Cry



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The wall-crawler and the Man Without Fear face the unlikely and unholy alliance of Owl, Gladiator, Copperhead and Stiltman! Which foe has a secret, and how might it spell doom for Spider-Man and Daredevil?


Due 3/12
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Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With this issue, I think this mini-series descended into pretty generic superhero hijinks.

The last issue ended on a cliff-hanger, with Daredevil knocked unconscious. After an opening scene with Foggy and Black Widow, Spidey gets Stilt-Man to blabber on about how the Gang of Four came to be, and then it turns out that Daredevil was faking his unconsciousness. The six men fight.

The Gladiator is still pretty generic, and is still doing the whole "Hail Caesar" thing.

I like the depictions of Stilt-Man and the Owl.

Again, I didn't know anything about Copperhead before this series. He becomes the focus at the end of this issue, which takes the story in an entirely different direction. It's somewhat surprising that Daredevil wouldn't have noticed such a key detail about Copperhead until the end of this issue, but Jenkins is correct that a lot had been happening to distract him.

The return of the Kingpin and his men didn't seem to add to much to the story. Who thought that Fisk would honour his word to Matt? No one. And his men just have guns. I don't think they're much of a match for the Owl, Gladiator, Copperhead and Stilt-Man, but the ruckus is a lot for Spider-Man and Daredevil to handle, especially when you add the police.

This is an awful depiction of the Black Widow -- easily the worst I have ever come across. Her remarks about body heat and rubbing are purely for the titillation of adolescent males, and "Bongo!"? She has been in America for a long time now, and she has led the Avengers. We don't need her immigrant status played for laughs. The Black Widow is the worst thing about this series.

I think this issue is quite a downturn for the series. Spider-Man gets in some jokey lines, and I still like the Owl and Stilt-Man, but this is pretty standard super-people throwdown fare. Throw in the awful Black Widow, and I can't give this issue any more than 2.5 out of 5.
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The Overlord
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Joined: 22 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will echo some of the things Dimetre said.

Gladiator is generic, it seems like he was wasted spot in story where they had 4 slots for the villains. They could have replaced him with any villain and that villain would be more entertaining, if a psycho version of Stilt-Man is fun to see, maybe a psycho version of Matador might have been fun too. This Gladiator is like a shallow version of Melvin Potter, all the surface stuff with none of the deeper character stuff Melvin has.

And Black Widow is essentially sexy Borat in this series. I know she and Foggy are the comic relief of this story, but she does seem like a Van Wilder character then a seasoned hero who has been around for a while. She got some stuff to do, she beat up some goons at Fisk's out of state office, but she does seem like the butt of jokes in this series. I am beginning to wonder if she is trying to just mess with Foggy at this point.

I actually did like Stilt-Man explaining the origins of this group, with these guys meeting in a insane Asylum, they get to talking and form their super villain group. They pretend to be model inmates, until they get bored and start killing everyone. I thought was kinda creepy. I actually kinda liked Owl saying Stilt-Man would make for a good lieutenant, if he developed a nastier attitude, which could explain why he is such a psycho. Though in their next DD appearance, Owl and Stilt-Man will have an off panel fight over the remains of Kingpin's empire and Owl would give Stilt-Man a good beat down for his troubles, so that clearly didn't last. Though Stilt-Man was monologuing when he should have been trying to kill the heroes, a classic villain mistake.

i do like this version of Owl though, which picks up on the Owl revamp that happened right after Last Rites (which I mentioned in a previous post about Owl, sorry if that seemed long and off topic, but I thought it was fun and a little relevant discussion). Owl seems far more violent then he was in the past, he expresses a desire to eat Daredevil and says he wants have Fisk's bloated corpse splattered on the streets of NYC. This guy is clearly not stable. I still think he makes for a compelling rival then Injun Joe for Kingpin. I think this story and Lowlife are the stories that cemented Owl as the psycho Kingpin wannabe who sees himself as Kingpin's main rival.

Spider-Man gets a kinda funny monologue and here it makes sense that his he being very jokey, because he is doing at the villains, that's what he does, he distracts and annoys villains with his humor, it makes more sense for him to do with the bad guys then when he is talking with DD about things.

So we get a giant fight scene between the heroes and the villains, Fisk shows up (he got out of the hospital quick) some goons and orders them to kill all the villains and heroes. Fisk is genre savy enough to assume that DD will survive this attack and tells him to show up to his office the next morning, but he doesn't think that these goons will fail to kill the various super villains and heroes that are present. When have generic goons managed to kill any super hero or villain?

The fight is fun, it becomes very chaotic with the heroes, villains, Kingpin's goons and the cops getting involved and stilt-Man doing crazy things like blowing up a cop car. DD manages to determine that Copperhead doesn't have a hear beat and Copperhead reveals he is some sort of undead Lich. Now this where I think the story is getting weird, now clearly Copperhead really hasn't done anything yet, he was hanging back, not saying anything and letting the other villains take the lead, clearly he was up to something and Copperhead being the real mastermind is an extra twist that counteracts the reveal of Owl as the boss of this operation. I like that, but I think a problem is there has been no real hint of a super natural angle in this story and now there is.

Anyway I think I will give this issue, 3 stars out of 5.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, that beginning may be one of the campiest things I've read in any Daredevil book since Stan Lee left. Don't get me wrong, it brought a smile to my face, but it was also insanely stupid. It was the hero gets the villain to explain his backstory as a distraction, but it added nothing to the story at all. I'm also not sure why the Owl would be at a mental hospital (or really Stilt-Man either).

The Foggy/Romanoff sideplot is also played to be humorous. I think it succeeds less. It's all sex jokes about how Foggy finds her attractive. Maybe one or two would work, but it feels a bit heavy-handed and not really in character (considering these characters know each other very well and have worked together in the past). Chronologically speaking, this is the first story I can think of that I've read where Foggy is actively aiding Daredevil after he learned his identity. That's pretty cool.

The story ends with a cool reveal with Copperhead. Frankly, it was the only moment I was really interested in out of the entire story. Otherwise, it was just too silly for Daredevil. I know it's crossed with Spider-Man and Spider-Man is lighter, but Spider-Man can also be dark. Besides, light doesn't mean stupid. This was just underwhelming all around. Two and a Half Stars.
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The Overlord
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Joined: 22 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Murdock wrote:
OK, that beginning may be one of the campiest things I've read in any Daredevil book since Stan Lee left. Don't get me wrong, it brought a smile to my face, but it was also insanely stupid. It was the hero gets the villain to explain his backstory as a distraction, but it added nothing to the story at all. I'm also not sure why the Owl would be at a mental hospital (or really Stilt-Man either).

.


Too be fair, Owl did come across as mentally unstable in his last major story appearance before this one (which happened right after Last rites) where he was killing criminals because he considered himself New York's top predator, he was clearly beyond the bend at that point. I think since then he has stablized somewhat and is just a psychopath now, but I can see the rationale of having him committed.

As for Stilt-Man, he has always been a petty, but unsuccessfully crook, but he was never insane, Stilt-Man having a Napoleon Complex is not a sign of criminal insanity and even in this story, he is just a psychopath. Then again in Batman comics, almost all the villains get sent to Arkham Asylum, even if a lot of them are just immoral psychopaths or just petty crooks, so this not too different from that.
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Darkdevil
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Joined: 04 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This issue was a slide backwards into some goofiness and just plains zaniness.

The Natasha/Foggy scenes had me shaking my head. Her dialogue was beyond camp and yes, seeing her as she's depicted today, this is a far, far cry for her. Foggy's frustration over doing the 'actual legwork' was funny but we still don't know why exactly they are in the middle of a snowstorm investigating one of Fisk's businesses.

Spidey got some good lines in here ('You've killed my brother!') but we've descended into some basic comic tropes here. Stilt-Man explaining how they met instead of simply killing Spidey, Owl calling him out on it, Spidey's jabs over the situation and the villains' ineptness. I'm not impressed with this new Gladiator at all. DD seems like the only one even remotely taking any of this seriously.

While Stilt-Man's monologue over how they met was interesting, some of those scenes had me confused. In one panel, S-M had what looked like a heavy weight attached to his ankles and legs. In another panel, he was suspended upside down. Why?

And the 'Gang of Four'? C'mon, you live in the MU. How are you gonna inspire fear and dread with such a name? (Granted, Frightful Four is already taken but still, put some thought into it fellas).

Fisk and his goons showing up was nice but overkill. (In the double-page spread, I love the lone guy standing atop a roof holding the only bazooka. Funny). And in the ensuing melee, how does Spidey get hit twice?

The reveal at the end about Copperhead was about the only interesting thing in this issue. Yes, there have been few hints about such a possibility but again, DD is the only one taking the situation seriously and he just uncovered a big piece of the puzzle that he's missed on so far. So nice cliffhanger of sorts.

Otherwise, this issue was full of too much wackiness of differing sorts. 2 stars for me.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
DD seems like the only one even remotely taking any of this seriously.


I think that about sums it up. Since I'm reading this from a Daredevil perspective, it colors my perspective. It just feels like he's in a different book than everyone else so it's hard to get into this one.
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daredevil/Spider-Man #4 - Things Get Worse



Quote:
DD and Spidey, two of your favorite heroes in one book! The web-slinger and the Man Without Fear square off with the unholy mastermind behind the Gang of Four, and when we say "unholy," we mean it! Plus: What has the Black Widow uncovered about the Kingpin?


Due 3/19
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I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
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Dimetre
Parts of a Hole


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the final issue of Daredevil/Spider-Man, and it's a pretty sloppy ending. For the first three issues, it seemed we were settling in with a standard street level story, but we were suddenly confronted with a supernatural element at the end of the third issue. It doesn't make much sense in terms of story-telling.

I suspect that this project was assigned to Jenkins and Winslade, and neither of them had much passion for it. Neither of them would ever work with Daredevil again. Unfortunately, Jenkins had a good handle on Daredevil's senses. As a number of us remarked, there are some beautiful passages about Daredevil's senses that rival anything any other writer ever composed. Winslade and Milla also had some very strong moments throughout this series. There was so much potential here.

In addition to Daredevil, I think Jenkins had strong handles on Kingpin, Stilt-Man, Spider-Man and the Owl. His renditions of the Gladiator and Black Widow were awful, but the majority of the characters in this series were top-notch. There just wasn't much of a story for them.

It's like someone said, "Do a Daredevil and Spider-Man mini-series," and the reply was, "Sure. What's it about?" "I don't know." "Coming right up!"

The sad thing is that the talent involved is apparent even in this issue. The very first page has an inspired scene of a junkie talking into a brick as if it's his cel phone. That sets up the whole battle with Copperhead.

The way the whole battle ends doesn't make any sense. I thought Copperhead wanted a pure soul. That's the only offering that would close the portal. Copperhead intends for Daredevil to be that offering. Isn't Spider-Man's soul pure enough? It seems he already has him at his mercy. Was Daredevil's suicide threat a stalling tactic? And the soul that Copperhead does get doesn't seem pure at all, yet it closes the portal.

About that last thing -- that makes no sense. "I want you to know, I did not mean to do the things I did... You helped me, and I became lost... but i was a kind man once... Think well of me." I have read enough of this villain's appearances, and there is nothing to suggest that he was a kind man once. (Well there was an issue of Spectacular Spider-Man where he teamed up with the Vulture, and he had a redemptive moment, but other than that, he's pretty much always been pure evil.) Also, this would suggest that this villain is now history, and we all know that's not true.

This mini-series, while it's suggested that it exists in continuity through the Kingpin's blindness and the reference to Karen's death, has been pretty much disregarded. When the villain reappeared, there was no mention to how he came back after the events in this mini-series. I don't think that bothered anyone. What did bother me was the increased mocking of the Stilt-Man in the ensuing years, when I thought he was pretty badass in this series. I think Jenkins and Winslade showed how Stilt-Man should be done, and that is potential squandered.

Oh, well. I think Daredevil says it best. "It's hard to believe that any of this actually happened, to be perfectly honest."

This issue: 2 out of 5. This series, which started out strong, and gradually revealed how hollow it was: 2.5 out of 5.
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Mike Murdock
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I take back my thought that the ending was the only thing interesting about last issue. Turns out, it's really stupid and out of place. It's just so tonally different than what came before that it almost doesn't feel like the same story (remember when there was an inmate sending coded messages?). In a way, I suppose, it's the exact opposite of Guardian Devil. That was a story having pretensions of supernatural turning out to be very Earthly. This story started as a story involving organized crime and now is very different. It's also the most ham-handed exploration of Matt's faith outside that story. The connection to Karen's death just piles on. Then you have the Owl sacrifice himself out of freakin nowhere!

There's a dumb conclusion to the Fisk story as well. It's played for laughs and it's fine, but it's still stupid (I also don't think it's correct on the law). And then the issue ends with a joke that made me groan.

I'm not going to give this thing worse than Daredevil: Father, but it's close. This may be the most underwhelming end to a story I've ever read. At least bad stories give me a sense of relief when they're over. This was convoluted and confusing. It wasted a solid start. It had things come out of nowhere. And it shifted tone constantly in a four issue story. Two and a Half Stars.
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The Overlord
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I am going to agree with Mike and Dimetre, it feels like this book had a great premise, with a lackluster execution. The bait and switch plot was a bad move, the super natural stuff came out of nowhere and really contradicted everything that came before.

The stuff with the gang war is rendered pointless, because that was just Copperhead trying to kill a bunch of people to increase his evil demon magic powers and using them to open a portal to Hell so demons can conquer the world.

There are some kinda creepy moments with Copperhead, like him mocking DD over Karen's death, him exposing Stilt-Man and Gladiator to their worst nightmares, trying part of NYC into a Hellscape, but yeah, this stuff just came out of nowhere. I heard Miller wanted to use Copperhead in this run, so his ideas for Copperhead might worked better then this.

Also Owl's sacrifice did come out of nowhere in this story, now like I have said, there was a story that happened right after Last Rites, that first introduced the more crazed beast like Owl, had Owl go through a mental break down and at the end expressed a desire to become a better person. You can argue that story feeds into this one, the problem is that story occurred almost a decade before this one and there is no hint that Owl wanted to be a better person in this story till he sacrificed and really any hint of redemption for Owl from the 90s is long gone, he is a murderous, rat eating psychopath at this point. I think Owl being the psycho crime boss is what led him to be somewhat relevant in the modern era.

I think if story kept with the original premise, of having B-list DD villains band together and over throw the Kingpin, it would have been better.

The wrap up stuff with Kingpin and Spidey wasn't very good either.

I will give this issue 2 and a half stars.
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Darkdevil
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At this late hour, I will agree with most of the criticisms that everyone has brought up so far. If they had continued with the previous story of the Gang of Four and the street war with Kingpin, this mini may have finished on a better note.

But to waste such potential like the Gang of Four and an improved Stilt-Man on a supernatural-laced plot of revenge by Copperhead is a shame. (And was I the only one who kept thinking Mephisto the whole time?)

So I will point out the few (few) things that I did like about this issue. Spidey venting his frustrations over how DD has been treating him was rather perceptive. Peter's usage of jokes and humor to offset the tragedies and crime around him provides a neat contrast to the usual stoicism that Matt displays. And while the last scene is perhaps too juvenile, it does point out that Matt needs to loosen up occasionally.

The scene with Kingpin was interesting although I have no clue if the law enables them to do anything like that. Still, it's clever how they were able to use the law to their advantage over Fisk. (Although it still doesn't explain how Matt knew to send them to Wisconsin in the first place).

For this ending to appear out of nowhere and the circumstances surrounding it, I'd have to give this issue two-and-half stars. As for the entire mini, I'd give it three stars, mainly because of the few insights into Matt's friendship with Peter and the new Stilt-Man.
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russell
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was so excited about this. My two favourite characters of all time teaming up and written by Jenkins who is responsible for some of my favourite Spider-Man comics.

I was a bit disappointed to be honest. The plot was not very memorable and there wasn't much interaction between the two leads. The whole religious conflict between them felt forced to me, especially considering I thought Spider-Man was a religious character.

The art was nice and I didn't hate it, but not something I'll be re-reading in a hurry. 2 stars
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